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Hi everyone,
This is my first time posting on this forum as I am attempting to purchase my first GTO. I have had numerous amounts of sports cars including Z28s and Trans Ams in my younger days, and a C5 vette (sadly missed) in more recent years.

Here is the deal. I have practically purchased an 05 GTO with a little under 30K sight unseen. The owner is very particular and through speaking with him, it seems that the car has been well taken care of. He is the 2nd owner and has put approximately 10K on the car. During our phone conversations, he has been very open about absolutely every detail. One detail that I found strange was that the car has a brand new clutch at 30K. Here is the story: He bought the car from an engineer who actually designed a component of the rear end for the car. He then bought the car and had absolutely zero issues with the car. After about a year of owning it he noticed that it was becoming harder and harder to put into gear. Scared that the clutch would eventually completely wear out, he took the vehicle to the dealership to be fixed under warranty, of course. The dealership told him that he had a faulty flywheel (which he has the parts to prove, which I have not seen) that was causing the clutch to abnormally wear. Under warranty, the dealership replaced the flywheel but refused to pay for the clutch as it is deemed a "wearing" item. He then paid out of pocket to replace the clutch and then ordered the dealership to complete a "tune" of the entire car. I immediately began to look for recalls on the flywheel and I have yet to find any for the 05. I was wondering if the flywheel has been a known problem and if this story seems likely. He says that this was the only problem he has ever had with the car and that he had it completely taken care of at the dealership, just like every single other service item of the cars history because he wanted to make sure that the new owner of the car could purchase the extended warranty if so desired. I really want to believe the guy because the car is great and its a decent deal. After discovering all the issues that have been posted on here about GTOs I am wondering if I should even buy one in the first place (they seem very problematic). Please advise with any knowledge about known problems with clutch, flywheel, transmission, or if you think it has just been beat. I really dont believe that to be the case based on our conversations. He does have every receipt of every service including the clutch and flywheel replacement and the oil changes. He also gave me permission to contact the only dealership the car has even been to for verification of the work.

Hopefully I will purchase the car depending on what you guys think and I will have the opportunity to port more often!!
 

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Welcome to the forums!
If you like the car I would not let this stand in the way of you buying it.
The GTO`s did have a problem with the clutch master/slave cyls and the fluid it uses. Some have experienced like some gunk in the reservoir along with difficulty in shifting or getting it into gear. Usually just a swap of the fluid will resolve the issue, but in this case it sounds like they did the whole clutch replacment, which should be good for you. :cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the advice. As I am a little ways from the where the car is being sold from, I contacted the dealership that all the work was done at (under the seller's permission). The service manager told me that the customer had the story backwards, that the clutch was wearing (which is not a warranty item after 12/12) and was replaced at his cost and then after the new clutch was put in (which he had the entire kit put in all OEM parts) the slave master cylinder went bad which was under warranty. The service manager then affirmed that the car has always been very well taken care of and that it always received everything that it has ever needed. He confirmed the particular nature of the owner and that he knows the car was not beat or abused based on the very slow tire wear and other "tell tale signs" of abuse that were not detected.

My question is: The car has had two owners... the 1st owner put 20K on the car and now this guy has had it for a little under 10k of babied miles and it needs a clutch. Does that mean that the car was beat by the 1st owner? Maybe his wife was driving it and didnt know how to drive it? Something just seems kinda fishy about a car needing a clutch at under 30K when nothing caused the clutch to fail besides the driver.
 

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Not to hi-jack the thread, but does the flywheel have to be replaced when the clutch is replaced? I have been reading different threads. When most replaced their clutch, they replaced the flywheel. In older GM cars the flywheel could be resufaced. thanks
 

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Not to hi-jack the thread, but does the flywheel have to be replaced when the clutch is replaced? I have been reading different threads. When most replaced their clutch, they replaced the flywheel. In older GM cars the flywheel could be resufaced. thanks
I think the reason most people replace them on the new GTOs is to go with a lightweight unit to help the motor rev quicker.
 

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the stock fly can be resurfaced altho most opt to put in a billet instead of putting the nodular stock cast one back in. billets are less prone to blow up. for autocross some put in the lighter fly. for drag racing and just generally getting this heavy pig going i'd say most get the steel. my Spec steel billet is still just a little lighter than stock. to the OP, clutches and rear tires are common things to replace :D
 

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Problem issues with the GTO.

1. Suspension. Regardless of who you ask, ALL will agree that the stock suspension is simply put.... GARBAGE. It's a decent street car, handling/comfort balance is well struck for an OEM setup, but premature Shock, mount, and bushing failure could result in expensive fixes further down. FIX: Get a pedders Street II/Track II or equivalent package from Wretched Motorsports for approx $2K(I'm plugging Rob here, as he's a great guy and an asset to this forum). He does offer a GTO specific Problem Package that replaces all the OEM parts that most commonly break down. I think that package is just under a grand.

2. Tranny. Numerous members (including myself) have had rear end/tranny failures. The problem will arise early on, before you hit the 36K mark, and will start off as a whine. From what I'm gathering, the problem seems to be that the rear end has in certain cases improperly cut gears, that place forward stress on the driveshaft, causing bearing and synchro failure in the M21/T56 tranny. (Someone message me/post why they don't call the M21/T56 the same, or why they're different). FIX: Under warranty, they'll simply replace rear end, as well as tranny. Another route is to get a different gear set for the rear, relieving the stress of on the shaft, and netting some performance benefits.

3. Belt/Tensioner. A common problem for ALL LSx Engines, and GM in general. Premature tensioner failure ($80) will result on belt damage and a loud squeaking coming from the engine bay. It'll sound as though you're hiding a 8 foot cricket under your hood. FIX: Dealer rarely questions this problem as it's well known and documented, or if out of warranty, simply replace belt and tensioner.

4. Brakes: Only if you're a track whore... like me... you will find the OEM and most aftermarket pads/rotors to be inadequate. I've yet to find a decent pad that will survive a day at California Speedway in Fontana.... and I've tried many. The rotor temps sky rocket and pan fry anything on the caliper. My last hawk pads had the paint burned off. yes, I said BURNED. lol. 1100 degrees are easily achieved. FIX: Brake Rotor Ducts and strut mounts run approx $400, or don't race. lol.

Other than that, there's nothing but smiles and miles to be had from this car. Now, every car, make, model has it's own issues. GSX Eclipses shredded transfer cases, WRX's had weak 2nd gears and Cylinder 3 failures. Every performance car you look at will come with it's own can of worms, and all problems are amplified by performance vehicles due to the amount of stress and driving conditions placed upon them. No one buys a GTO and putts around in it. That's why they sell Accord's, Camry's and Malibu's. All the GTO pitfalls are known, and preventable. Not to mention, that all are reasonably inexpensive. GTO's, IMHO are THE best full sized 2+2 ever made. Think the 612 or Maserati is faster on a track.... I haven't been passed by one yet, and if you think the GTO has problems, those cars will be a moot point. Let's not even get started on the GTR. lol.
 

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exwrx...that was some amazing info!
Thanks bud...

One thing I didn't mention were fluid changes. ALL GTO's have some pretty disgusting brake, clutch, tranny, rear end....etc.... the only thing that's even somewhat decent is the coolant and wiper fluid. lol. Everything else needs to be replaced ASAP. I received my car with black and chunky brake and clutch fluid. After flushing the brakes and tranny/clutch... i had a whole new car on my hands. lol.
 

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I was told the the rear end and tranny fluid in the M6's never needs to be changed?!
you should change it. my tranny got royal purple ATF the first change and it shifted better than stock. after a time it wasn't as good as before and i put Mobil 1 ATF in it (yes it takes auto fluid) and that was much better. the rear end got royal purple and that was later changed out to Torco with Ford friction modifier and that helped that too. the suspension on most GTOs could use new front radius rod bushings, strut bushings and rear springs. all of the above can easily be done by the novice with some simple tools and a couple of questions.
 

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If you cherish your vehicle.... change the fluids. It'll cost you less than $100 every 30K miles, and about 1 hour of your time. The peace of mind, and better shifting/increase in rear end longevity are well worth it. Beware though that some rear end fluids will make your rear end engage earlier/later. After changing my fluids, I can totally feel that rear diff working/locking in parking lots, and at low speeds.
 

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The thing is financially I can't spend right now because I am off work and going on vacation. I need to know if my tranny is going to die because it has old fluid in it or if it will just be rough until I can change it
 
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